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J - Overvoltage protection

Surge Protection Devices (SPD) are used for 2.4 The Surge Protection Device (SPD)
electric power supply networks, telephone
networks, and communication and automatic The Surge Protection Device (SPD) is a component of the electrical installation
control buses. protection system.
This device is connected in parallel on the power supply circuit of the loads that it
has to protect (see Fig. J17). It can also be used at all levels of the power supply
network.
This is the most commonly used and most efcient type of overvoltage protection.

Incoming
circuit breaker

SPD Connected Lightning SPD


after the main current

breaker in parallel
with the installation
Sensitive loads

Fig. J17 : Principle of protection system in parallel

J10 Principle
SPD is designed to limit transient overvoltages of atmospheric origin and divert
current waves to earth, so as to limit the amplitude of this overvoltage to a value that
is not hazardous for the electrical installation and electric switchgear and controlgear.
SPD eliminates overvoltages:
b in common mode, between phase and neutral or earth;
b in differential mode, between phase and neutral.
In the event of an overvoltage exceeding the operating threshold, the SPD
b conducts the energy to earth, in common mode;
b distributes the energy to the other live conductors, in differential mode.
The three types of SPD:
b Type 1 SPD
The Type 1 SPD is recommended in the specic case of service-sector and industrial
buildings, protected by a lightning protection system or a meshed cage.
It protects electrical installations against direct lightning strokes. It can discharge
the back-current from lightning spreading from the earth conductor to the network
conductors.
Type 1 SPD is characterized by a 10/350 s current wave.
b Type 2 SPD
The Type 2 SPD is the main protection system for all low voltage electrical
installations. Installed in each electrical switchboard, it prevents the spread of
overvoltages in the electrical installations and protects the loads.
Type 2 SPD is characterized by an 8/20 s current wave.
b Type 3 SPD
These SPDs have a low discharge capacity. They must therefore mandatorily be
installed as a supplement to Type 2 SPD and in the vicinity of sensitive loads.
Type 3 SPD is characterized by a combination of voltage waves (1.2/50 s) and
current waves (8/20 s).
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2 Principle of lightning protection

b 52&PQTOCVKXGFGPKVKQP

Direct lightning Indirect lightning stroke


stroke
IEC 61643-1 Class I test Class II test Class III test
IEC 61643-11/2007 Type 1: T1 Type 2 : T2 Type 3 : T3
EN/IEC 61643-11 Type 1 Type 2 Type 3
Former VDE 0675v B C D

Note 1: There exist T1 + T2 SPD (or Type 1 + 2 SPD) combining protection of loads against direct and indirect lightning strokes.
Note 2: some T2 SPD can also be declared as T3 .
Fig. J18 : SPD standard definition

2.4.1 Characteristics of SPD


International standard IEC 61643-11 Edition 1.0 (03/2011) denes the characteristics
and tests for SPD connected to low voltage distribution systems (see Fig. J19).
b Common characteristics
v Uc: Maximum continuous operating voltage
This is the A.C. or D.C. voltage above which the SPD becomes active. This value is
chosen according to the rated voltage and the system earthing arrangement.
v Up: Voltage protection level (at In)
This is the maximum voltage across the terminals of the SPD when it is active. This J11
voltage is reached when the current owing in the SPD is equal to In. The voltage
protection level chosen must be below the overvoltage withstand capability of the
loads (see section 3.2). In the event of lightning strokes, the voltage across the
terminals of the SPD generally remains less than Up.
v In: Nominal discharge current
This is the peak value of a current of 8/20 s waveform that the SPD is capable of
discharging 15 times.

In green, the guaranteed


operating range of the SPD.

Up

Uc

I
< 1 mA In Imax
Fig. J19 : Time/current characteristic of a SPD with varistor

b Type 1 SPD
v Iimp: Impulse current
This is the peak value of a current of 10/350 s waveform that the SPD is capable of
discharging 5 times.
v I: Autoextinguish follow current
Applicable only to the spark gap technology.
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This is the current (50 Hz) that the SPD is capable of interrupting by itself after
ashover. This current must always be greater than the prospective short-circuit
current at the point of installation.
b Type 2 SPD
v Imax: Maximum discharge current
This is the peak value of a current of 8/20 s waveform that the SPD is capable of
discharging once.
b Type 3 SPD
v Uoc: Open-circuit voltage applied during class III (Type 3) tests.

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J - Overvoltage protection
2 Principle of lightning protection

2.4.2 Main applications

b Low Voltage SPD


Very different devices, from both a technological and usage viewpoint, are
designated by this term. Low voltage SPDs are modular to be easily installed inside
LV switchboards.
There are also SPDs adaptable to power sockets, but these devices have a low
discharge capacity.
b SPD for communication networks
These devices protect telephon networks, switched networks and automatic control
networks (bus) against overvoltages coming from outside (lightning) and those
internal to the power supply network (polluting equipment, switchgear operation,
etc.).
Such SPDs are also installed in RJ11, RJ45, ... connectors or integrated into loads.

J12
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J - Overvoltage protection
3 Design of the electrical
installation protection system

To protect an electrical installation in a building, 3.1 Design rules


simple rules apply for the choice of
b SPD(s);
For a power distribution system, the main characteristics used to dene the lightning
b its protection system.
protection system and select a SPD to protect an electrical installation in a building
are:
b SPD
v quantity of SPD;
v type;
v level of exposure to dene the SPD's maximum discharge current Imax.
b Short circuit protection device
v maximum discharge current Imax;
v short-circuit current Isc at the point of installation.

The logic diagram in the Figure J20 below illustrates this design rule.

Surge Protective
Device (SPD)
No Is there a lightning rod Yes
on the building or within
50 metres of the building ?

Type 1 + Type2
Type2 or
SPD Type 1+2
SPD

Risks level ? Risks level ? J13

Low Medium High 12,5 kA 25 kA


20 kA 40 kA 65 kA mini.
Imax Iimp

Isc
at the installation point ?
Short Circuit
Protection Device (SCPD)
Fig. J20 : Logic diagram for selection of a protection system

The other characteristics for selection of a SPD are predened for an electrical
installation.
b number of poles in SPD;
b voltage protection level Up;
b operating voltage Uc.

This sub-section J3 describes in greater detail the criteria for selection of the
protection system according to the characteristics of the installation, the equipment
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to be protected and the environment.

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J - Overvoltage protection

A SPD must always be installed at the origin of 3.2 Elements of the protection system
the electrical installation.
3.2.1 Location and type of SPD
The type of SPD to be installed at the origin of the installation depends on whether
or not a lightning protection system is present. If the building is tted with a lightning
protection system (as per IEC 62305), a Type 1 SPD should be installed.
For SPD installed at the incoming end of the installation, the IEC 60364 installation
standards lay down minimum values for the following 2 characteristics:
b Nominal discharge current In = 5 kA (8/20) s;
b Voltage protection level Up (at In) < 2.5 kV.
The number of additional SPDs to be installed is determined by:
b the size of the site and the difculty of installing bonding conductors. On large
sites, it is essential to install a SPD at the incoming end of each subdistribution
enclosure.
b the distance separating sensitive loads to be protected from the incoming-end
protection device. When the loads are located more than 30 meters away from
the incoming-end protection device, it is necessary to provide for additional ne
protection as close as possible to sensitive loads. The phenomena of wave reection
is increasing from 10 meters (see chapter 6.5)
b the risk of exposure. In the case of a very exposed site, the incoming-end SPD
cannot ensure both a high ow of lightning current and a sufciently low voltage
protection level. In particular, a Type 1 SPD is generally accompanied by a Type 2
SPD.
The table in Figure J21 below shows the quantity and type of SPD to be set up on
the basis of the two factors dened above.
J14

No Is there a lightning rod on the building or Yes


within 50 metres of the building ?

one Type 2 SPD in the main switchboard one Type 1 and one Type 2 SPD (or one Type 1+2 SPD)
in the main switchboard

D < 30 m
Incoming Incoming
circuit breaker circuit breaker
Distance (D) separating sensitive equipment from

Type 1
lightning protection system installed

Type 2 +
SPD Type 2
SPD
in main switchboard

D D

one Type 2 SPD in main switchboard one Type 1 and one Type 2 SPD (or one Type 1+2 SPD)
one Type 2/Type 3 SPD in the enclosure close to sensitive equipment in the main switchboard
one Type 2/Type 3 SPD in the enclosure close to sensitive equipment

Incoming Incoming
circuit breaker circuit breaker
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Type 1
Type 2 +
SPD Type 2
Type 3 SPD Type 3
D > 30 m SPD SPD
D D

Fig. J21 : The 4 cases of SPD implementation

Note : The Type 1 SPD is installed in the electrical switchboard connected to the earth lead of the lightning protection system.

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3 Design of the electrical
installation protection system

3.4 Selection of a Type 1 SPD


3.4.1 Impulse current Iimp
b Where there are no national regulations or specic regulations for the type of
building to be protected:
the impulse current Iimp shall be at least 12.5 kA (10/350 s wave) per branch in
accordance with IEC 60364-5-534.
b Where regulations exist:
standard 62305-2 denes 4 levels: I, II, III and IV
The table in Figure J31 shows the different levels of Iimp in the regulatory case.

Protection level External lightning Minimum required Iimp for


as per EN 62305-2 protection system Type 1 SPD for line-neutral
designed to handle direct network
CUJQH
I 200 kA 25 kA/pole
II 150 kA 18.75 kA/pole
III / IV 100 kA 12.5 kA/pole

: Table of Iimp values according to the building's voltage protection level (based on IEC/
Fig. J31

EN 62305-2)

3.4.2 Autoextinguish follow current I


J19
This characteristic is applicable only for SPDs with spark gap technology. The
autoextinguish follow current I must always be greater than the prospective short-
circuit current Isc at the point of installation.

3.5 Selection of a Type 2 SPD


3.5.1 Maximum discharge current Imax
The maximum discharge current Imax is dened according to the estimated
exposure level relative to the building's location.
The value of the maximum discharge current (Imax) is determined by a risk analysis
(see table in Figure J32).

Exposure level
Low Medium High
Building environment Building located in an urban Building located in a plain Building where there is a
or suburban area of grouped specic risk: pylon, tree,
housing mountainous region, wet area
or pond, etc.
Recommended Imax 20 40 65
value (k)

Fig. J32 : Recommended maximum discharge current Imax according to the exposure level
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J - Overvoltage protection

The protection devices (thermal and short 3.6 Selection of external Short Circuit Protection
circuit) must be coordinated with the SPD to Device (SCPD)
ensure reliable operation, i.e.
b ensure continuity of service:
v withstand lightning current waves; 3.6.1 Risks to be avoided at end of life of the SPDs
v not generate excessive residual voltage.
b ensure effective protection against all types of b Due to ageing
overcurrent: In the case of natural end of life due to ageing, protection is of the thermal type. SPD
v overload following thermal runaway of the with varistors must have an internal disconnector which disables the SPD.
varistor; Note: End of life through thermal runaway does not concern SPD with gas discharge
v short circuit of low intensity (impedant); tube or encapsulated spark gap.
v short circuit of high intensity. b Due to a fault
The causes of end of life due to a short-circuit fault are:
v Maximum discharge capacity exceeded.
This fault results in a strong short circuit.
v A fault due to the distribution system (neutral/phase switchover, neutral
disconnection).
v Gradual deterioration of the varistor.
The latter two faults result in an impedant short circuit.
The installation must be protected from damage resulting from these types of fault:
the internal (thermal) disconnector dened above does not have time to warm up,
hence to operate.
A special device called "external Short Circuit Protection Device (external SCPD) ",
capable of eliminating the short circuit, should be installed. It can be implemented by
a circuit breaker or fuse device.

J20 3.6.2 Characteristics of the external SCPD

The external SCPD should be coordinated with the SPD. It is designed to meet the
following two constraints:
Lightning current withstand

The lightning current withstand is an essential characteristic of the SPD's external


Short Circuit Protection Device.
The external SCPD must not trip upon 15 successive impulse currents at In.
Short-circuit current withstand

b The breaking capacity is determined by the installation rules (IEC 60364


standard):
The external SCPD should have a breaking capacity equal to or greater than the
prospective short-circuit current Isc at the installation point (in accordance with the
IEC 60364 standard).
b Protection of the installation against short circuits
In particular, the impedant short circuit dissipates a lot of energy and should be
eliminated very quickly to prevent damage to the installation and to the SPD.

The right association between a SPD and its external SCPD must be given by the
manufacturer.
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3 Design of the electrical
installation protection system

3.6.3 Installation mode for the external SCPD


b Device "in series"
The SCPD is described as "in series" (see Fig. J33) when the protection is
performed by the general protection device of the network to be protected (for
example, connection circuit breaker upstream of an installation).

Fig. J33 : SCPD "in series"

b Device "in parallel"


The SCPD is described as "in parallel" (see Fig. J34) when the protection is
performed specically by a protection device associated with the SPD.
b The external SCPD is called a "disconnecting circuit breaker" if the function is J21
performed by a circuit breaker.
b The disconnecting circuit breaker may or may not be integrated into the SPD.

Fig. J34 : SCPD "in parallel"

Note:
In the case of a SPD with gas discharge tube or encapsulated spark gap, the SCPD
allows the current to be cut immediately after use.
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3 Design of the electrical
installation protection system

Isc (kA)
Type 2 - class II SCPD not integrated Type 1 - class I
SCPD integrated
70
Need a more specific study

50
NG125L NG125L
80A(1) 80A(1)

PRF1(3) PRD1(3)
12.5r Master
36
NG125H NG125H
80A(1) 80A(1)

PRF1(3) PRD1
12.5r Master
25
iC60L iC60L NG125N(2) NG125N(2) NG125N
20A(1) 25A(1) 40A(2) 50A(2) 80A(1)

iPF 8/ iPF 20/ iPF 40/ iPF 65/ PRF1(3)


iPRD 8r iPRD 20r iPRD 40r iPRD 65r 12.5r
15
iC60H iC60H iC60H iC60H C120H or
NG125N NG125N
J23
20A(1) 25A(1) 40A(1) 50A(1) 80A(1)
80A(1)

iQuick iPF 8/ iQuick iPF 20/ iQuick iPF 40/ iPF 65/ PRF1(3)
PRDxx iPRD 8r PRD20r iPRD20r PRD40r iPRD 40r iPRD 65r 12.5r
10

iC60N iC60N iC60N iC60N C120N


20A(1) 25A(1) 40A(1) 50A(1) 80A(1)

PRD1
25r
6

iPF 8/ iPF 20/ iPF 40/ iPF 65/ PRF1 12.5r(3)


iPRD 8r iPRD 20r iPRD 40r iPRD 65r

8 kA Imax
Dedicated protection to be added
when equipment is more than 30m 20 kA 40 kA 65 kA 12.5 kA 25 kA
from switchboard.
Low risk Medium risk High risk Maximum risk
No lightning rod Lightning rod on
the building or within
50 m of the building
Fig. J37 : Coordination table between SPDs and their disconnecting circuit breakers of the Schneider Electric brand

(1): All circuit breakers are C curve - (2): NG 125 L for 1P & 2P - (3): Also Type 2 (class II) tested
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3.7.1 Coordination with upstream protection devices


Coordination with overcurrent protection devices
In an electrical installation, the external SCPD is an apparatus identical to the
protection apparatus: this makes it possible to apply discrimination and cascading
techniques for technical and economic optimization of the protection plan.
Coordination with residual current devices
If the SPD is installed downstream of an earth leakage protection device, the latter
Note: S type residual current devices in conformity with the IEC should be of the "si" or selective type with an immunity to pulse currents of at least 3
61008 or IEC 61009-1 standards comply with this requirement. kA (8/20 s current wave).

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J - Overvoltage protection
4 Installation of SPDs

4.1 Connection

Connections of a SPD to the loads should be as One of the essential characteristics for the protection of equipment is the maximum
short as possible in order to reduce the value of voltage protection level (installed Up) that the equipment can withstand at its
the voltage protection level (installed Up) on the terminals. Accordingly, a SPD should be chosen with a voltage protection level
Up adapted to protection of the equipment (see Fig. J38). The total length of the
terminals of the protected equipment. connection conductors is
The total length of SPD connections to the L = L1+L2+L3.
network and the earth terminal block should not For high-frequency currents, the impedance per unit length of this connection is
exceed 50 cm. approximately 1 H/m.
Hence, applying Lenz's law to this connection: U = L di/dt
The normalized 8/20 s current wave, with a current amplitude of 8 kA, accordingly
creates a voltage rise of 1000 V per metre of cable.
U =1 x 10-6 x 8 x 103 /8 x 10-6 = 1000 V

U equipment
L1

disconnection U1
circuit-breaker

L2
L = L1 + L2 + L3 < 50 cm
load to be
SPD Up protected

L3 U2

J24

Fig. J38 : Connections of a SPD L < 50 cm

As a result the voltage across the equipment terminals, installed Up, is:
installed Up = Up + U1 + U2
If L1+L2+L3 = 50 cm, and the wave is 8/20 s with an amplitude of 8 k, the voltage
across the equipment terminals will be Up + 500 V.

4.1.1 Connection in plastic enclosure

Figure J39a below shows how to connect a SPD in plastic enclosure.

L2 L1

Circuit breaker
L3
SPD

Earth auxiliairy
block

Earth distribution
block

to load
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Fig. J39a : Example of connection in plastic enclosure

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4 Installation of SPDs

4.1.2 Connection in metallic enclosure


In the case of a switchgear assembly in a metallic enclosure, it may be wise to
connect the SPD directly to the metallic enclosure, with the enclosure being used as
a protective conductor (see Fig. J39b).
This arrangement complies with standard IEC 61439-2 and the ASSEMBLY
manufacturer must make sure that the characteristics of the enclosure make this use
possible.

L1

L2 Circuit breaker

L3 SPD
Earth distribution
block

to load

Fig. J39b : Example of connection in metallic enclosure


J25

4.1.3 Conductor cross section


The recommended minimum conductor cross section takes into account:
b The normal service to be provided: Flow of the lightning current wave under a
maximum voltage drop (50 cm rule).
Note: Unlike applications at 50 Hz, the phenomenon of lightning being high-
frequency, the increase in the conductor cross section does not greatly reduce its
high-frequency impedance.
b The conductors' withstand to short-circuit currents: The conductor must resist a
short-circuit current during the maximum protection system cutoff time.
IEC 60364 recommends at the installation incoming end a minimum cross section of:
v 4 mm (Cu) for connection of Type 2 SPD;
v 16 mm (Cu) for connection of Type 1 SPD (presence of lightning protection
system). Schneider Electric - all rights reserved

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J - Overvoltage protection

4.2 Cabling rules

b Rule 1:
The rst rule to comply with is that the length of the SPD connections between the
network (via the external SCPD) and the earthing terminal block should not exceed
50 cm.
Figure J40 shows the two possibilities for connection of a SPD.

d1 d1
D
k PR
QuicPD
P D S
SC

d2 d3

(8/20)
65kA(8/20)
Imax:
In: 20kA
1,5kV
Up: 340Va
Uc:

D
SP

d3

0 cm 35 cm
<5
3 d3
+ d
2 + d
d1 +
d1
J26

Fig. J40 : SPD with separate or integrated external SCPD

b Rule 2:
The conductors of protected outgoing feeders:
b should be connected to the terminals of the external SCPD or the SPD;
b should be separated physically from the polluted incoming conductors.
They are located to the right of the terminals of the SPD and the SCPD (see
Fig. J41).

Power supply Protected feeders

iQuick PRDxx

: The connections of protected outgoing feeders are to the right of the SPD terminals
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Fig. J41

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4 Installation of SPDs

b Rule 3:
The incoming feeder phase, neutral and protection (PE) conductors should run one
beside another in order to reduce the loop surface (see Fig. J42).
b Rule 4:
The incoming conductors of the SPD should be remote from the protected outgoing
conductors to avoid polluting them by coupling (see Fig. J42).
b Rule 5:
The cables should be pinned against the metallic parts of the enclosure (if any) in
order to minimize the surface of the frame loop and hence benet from a shielding
effect against EM disturbances.
In all cases, it must be checked that the frames of switchboards and enclosures are
earthed via very short connections.
Finally, if shielded cables are used, big lengths should be avoided, because they
reduce the efciency of shielding (see Fig. J42).

Clean cables polluted by Clean cable paths separated


neighbouring polluted cables from polluted cable paths

protected
outgoing
feeders

Large
frame
loop
J27
NO
surface
YES
Intermediate
Intermediate
Small earth
earth terminal
frame terminal
loop
surface

Main earth Main earth


terminal terminal

: Example of improvement of EMC by a reduction in the loop surfaces and common


Fig. J42

impedance in an electric enclosure

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J - Overvoltage protection
5 Application

5.1 Installation examples

MV/LV transformer
160 kVA

Main
switchboard

iC60
40 A
iPRD
40 kA

Switchboard 1 Switchboard
2

iC60 iC60
20 A ID ID 20 A
"si" "si"
iPRD iPRD
J28 8 kA 8 kA

Heating Lighting Freezer Refrigerator Fire-fighting system Alarm


Storeroom lighting Power outlets IT system Checkout

Fig. J43 : Application example: supermarket

Solutions and schematic diagram


b The surge arrester selection guide has made it possible to determine the precise
value of the surge arrester at the incoming end of the installation and that of the
associated disconnection circuit breaker.
b As the sensitive devices (Uimp < 1.5 kV) are located more than 30 m from the
incoming protection device, the ne protection surge arresters must be installed as
close as possible to the loads.
b To ensure better continuity of service for cold room areas:
v"si" type residual current circuit breakers will be used to avoid nuisance tripping
caused by the rise in earth potential as the lightning wave passes through.
b For protection against atmospheric overvoltages:
v install a surge arrester in the main switchboard
v install a ne protection surge arrester in each switchboard (1 and 2) supplying the
sensitive devices situated more than 30 m from the incoming surge arrester
v install a surge arrester on the telecommunications network to protect the devices
supplied, for example re alarms, modems, telephones, faxes.

Cabling recommendations
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b Ensure the equipotentiality of the earth terminations of the building.


b Reduce the looped power supply cable areas.

Installation recommendations
b Install a surge arrester, Imax = 40 kA (8/20 s) and a iC60 disconnection circuit
breaker rated at 20 A.
Fig. J44 : Telecommunications network b Install ne protection surge arresters, Imax = 8 kA (8/20 s) and the associated
iC60 disconnection circuit breakers rated at 20

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